A good friend of mine announced on Facebook recently that her girlfriend presented her with an engagement ring and proposed to her. Knowing my history in ministry and my experience both as a minister and with performing wedding ceremonies, she told me she wants me to be the one who marries her and her fiancée. I told her I would be honored to serve as the officiant at her wedding. The thought of performing a wedding ceremony for a gay couple just makes the civil rights activist in me smile. And I love doing weddings. I am an ordained minister, after all.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I saw this picture on Reddit, and, considering that my entry "Allah Dolla Bills, Y'all" garnered close to 18,000 views in a period of 24 hours (which is absolutely freaking huge for lil ol' me) after one of my readers posted it to Reddit, I thought I'd share the picture I found with you here:
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I wrote about a common area of disagreement between theists and non-theists in my previous post; namely, the foundational presuppositions upon which one bases her beliefs. Drawing clear distinctions that show the actual differences between two opposing parties is crucial for any real progress to be made in conversation. I have witnessed discussions and debates in which both sides hurl verbal javelins at each other, but neither side really understands where their disagreement lies. In fact, they usually have more in common with each other than they realize (or want to realize).
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
When non-theists get into discussions with religious people, the focus turns naturally to areas of difference; not just concerning beliefs per se, but underlying assumptions and presuppositions which serve as the foundation upon which one's beliefs rest. Most common in my experience is the distinction theists draw between "man's logic" versus "god's logic." The underlying assumption made by the theist in such a scenario is that man's logic "can only go so far," and the mind of god is far beyond our comprehension. From here, the theist either argues that this is why we need faith (usually argued in a sloppily Kantian way), or that the non-theist shouldn't rely on "man's wisdom alone."
Sunday, November 20, 2011
When Dead-Logic was brand new I shared a 20 page paper I wrote for one of my graduate classes titled, "My Three Crises of Faith: a Learning Autobiography." This paper, which served to provide my personal story concerning my struggles with god, faith and religion, started me on the path of becoming one of those "skeptic bloggers," albeit unbeknownst to me at the time. I wrote the paper in October, 2009, right after I got married to the woman who would soon after become ex-wife #2. I'm posting it here for newer readers (and older readers who missed it the first time around). The only changes I have made to the content of this paper are the addition of hyperlinks to the many references I make in the paper, and a brand new section which recounts the two years of my life since I wrote this paper. I warn you: it's long. Really long. If you read the whole thing, however, you will gain a much better understanding of me and my journey.
Thanks for reading,
- Bud Uzoras
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The first time I heard the name Carl Sagan was when I was listening to the album "I Scream Sunday" by a Christian punk band called One Bad Pig. They have a song called "You're a Pagan!" Here is an excerpt of the lyrics...
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Most people think they already have the truth. Most people, regardless of whether they've actually spent any time looking for it, think they know what the truth is already. People hold their beliefs as "the truth" in the same way they maintain their egocentric or ethnocentric views. "Japanese people talk funny." "French people eat weird food." "USA is the best country ever!" "My mom and dad listen to weird old music." We prefer the familiar to the foreign, and we have to train ourselves (or be trained) to overcome our tendencies to judge negatively everything that's not familiar to us.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Th1s blog entry 1s scheduled to post at eleven m1nutes past eleven o'clock 1n the even1ng, on 11/11/11. Thousands upon thousands of people have made w1shes today, hop1ng for a l1ttle mag1c to occur 1n the1r l1ves. Many see the number eleven as a myst1cal number, possessing myster1ous power or energ1es the average person does not comprehend. 1ndeed, the phrase "the eleventh hour" represents urgency: "t1me 1s running out." Perhaps 1t 1s.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
This is one video in a series of three that I created over a year ago, back when I had thoughts of making YouTube videos regularly (before I realized that making videos is hard). I used Xtranormal to make these videos. I had forgotten about them until today, when I went to my YouTube channel.
This video is titled "Bill's Declaration of Faith." In the video, Bill states the importance of faith, while Ray critiques such a claim. Most of Bill's words are quoted verbatim from a Christian student in a philosophy of religion class. Ray's critique contains my response to that Christian student. Enjoy...
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Yes, the universe had a beginning. Yes, the universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our body’s atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnace within high-mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it. One might even say we have been empowered by the universe to figure itself out — and we have only just begun.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
Monday, November 7, 2011
"There is no other species on the Earth that does science. It is, so far, entirely a human invention, evolved by natural selection in the cerebral cortex for one simple reason: it works. It is not perfect. It can be misused. It is only a tool. But it is by far the best tool we have, self-correcting, ongoing, applicable to everything. It has two rules. First: there are no sacred truths; all assumptions must be critically examined; arguments from authority are worthless. Second: whatever is inconsistent with the facts must be discarded or revised. We must understand the Cosmos as it is and not confuse how it is with how we wish it to be."
- Carl Sagan
November is my favorite month, with Guy Fawkes Day on November 5, and Carl Sagan Day on November 9 (Sagan's birthday). Celebrations in honor of Sagan will be happening all over on or around November 9. For more information, see: CenterForInquiry.net and CarlSaganDay.com.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
The Internet is a wild place. I got a call yesterday from a good friend of mine who informed me that someone had posted my blog entry "Allah Dolla Bills, Y'all" on Reddit, and it made it to the second page of r/atheism. I thought that was pretty cool, but later in the day I was absolutely blown away by the number of hits that blog entry was getting. "Allah Dolla Bills" made it to the first page of r/atheism and had over 11,000 views yesterday alone before 8:00 PM! Sure, it's small potatoes compared to PZ Myers, but for little ol' me it's pretty awesome. In one day it's already surpassed the number of views my Rebecca Watson article has received, and I still get over 100 views a month on that blog entry alone. So thanks to whoever shared my blog entry with Reddit, and thank you to everyone who reads Dead-Logic. I appreciate you all far more than you know.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
When times are bad, politicians do what they do best: try to make themselves look better. Instead of focusing on things that actually matter, like the ecomony, taxes, jobs, or pretty much anything else, they spend their time reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the United States motto. Politicians evoke god whenever they want to gain favor with the public. Now they're using their legislative power to win over grandma.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
I am a martial artist. "Martial" means literally "of Mars," the God of War. There is no religious affiliation with martial arts. The adjective "martial" indicates the nature of these particular arts. The paradox of the martial arts is the emphasis on mastering tools of violence in order to achieve a life of peace. A martial arts lifestyle includes the learning of techniques meant to be used only when no other option is available. Our martial arts academy has a saying: "Common sense before self-defense."